Brooklyn

Big, bold, and brash — the borough that gave us Barbra Streisand and RBG, Walt Whitman, Jay-Z, and Isaac Mizrahi is the place to be.

The fastest growing borough in NYC also boasts one of the largest and most diverse Jewish populations. Let’s put it this way: Today’s Brooklyn Jewish community is like an everything bagel, encompassing a wide array of identities, backgrounds, ethnicities, and affiliations — and we’re all the better for it (schmear or no schmear).

The Neighborhood

Get this: Only 25% of Jewishly identified people in Brownstone Brooklyn feel like part of a local Jewish community. We can do better than that. That’s why UJA is seeding an innovative new community center called The Neighborhood: An Urban Center for Jewish Life to serve Central and Northern Brooklyn. Part JCC, part cultural center, part hub with heart, the Neighborhood will host organizations that don’t have their own space while also curating its own Jewish programming. Think inclusive. Future-thinking. A place for cross-community collaboration. A Jewish home, where all are welcome. Learn more.

Upgrading Security

With growing antisemitism a sobering reality in Brooklyn, we created a fund to provide security enhancement packages to about 100 small synagogues — also known as shtiebels — in Brooklyn. The synagogues in Midwood, Kensington, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Borough Park, and Flatbush, have a capacity of fewer than 200 people and little or no staff. Our goal: to close a crucial gap in funding that often leaves out smaller synagogues from accessing funds from government or other sources for physical security enhancements. Our Partner: the Community Security Initiative — a joint initiative of JCRC-NY and UJA — our go-to on all things security related. Learn more.

Volunteer the Brooklyn Way

Brooklyn families love giving back — and even better, we want to schmooze and connect while we do it! That’s why UJA supports Repair the World’s Family Service Learning programming, which creates ongoing service opportunities with a Jewish framework, at convenient locations across North and Central Brooklyn. Our goal: Kids can serve with their parents to meet local needs, and parents can model their Jewish values while connecting with like-minded members of their local Jewish community. Take a look here.

Building Bridges

Because we’re passionate about building bridges and combating hate, we helped our partner Repair the World launch the Crown Heights Initiative in 2021. Our goal: build and deepen relationships across the Chassidic and Afro-Caribbean communities of Crown Heights. How’s it work? We bring together a diverse cohort of local leaders to work and learn side by side. Tell me more: By volunteering with neighbors who may otherwise never interact, the project combats antisemitism and racism, deepens understanding of each community, and meets pressing local needs.

Brooklyn Hub — Coming Soon

Maybe you heard how in the middle of the pandemic, we opened a one-stop social service hub in Queens. Now, we’re going to take everything we learned and apply it to a brand-new Brooklyn Hub that will offer employment counseling, food pantries, legal and emotional support all under one roof. Our goal: to serve Russian immigrants, Holocaust survivors, ultra-Orthodox families, and so many others who are struggling to get by — moving people from crisis to stability with a premium on dignity. A location has been secured and we hope to be open by the end of 2023.

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